Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ayodhya verdict Calling the ‘secularist’ bluff

Updated: October 16, 2010 5:50 pm

The judiciary in India has again passed muster, that too in such a contentious issue. The verdict in over 60-year-long Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit would surely bring smiles on the faces of all. The court has recognised and honoured faith and history and pronounced a pragmatic verdict. A three-judge bench comprising Justices SU Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and DV Sharma pronounced judgment on September 30 on the title suit on the 2.7 acres of disputed land. The Allahabad High Court has vindicated the common notion on how a contentious matter should be settled so that our economically resurgent and forward-looking polity can move forward without the baggage of an unchangeable past. But pseudo-secular media is projecting the Ayodhya land dispute as a dispute between Muslims and Hindus, as though the Sunni Waqf Board’s views represent those of the entire community. Now that the judgment is out, it is heartening to see that people acted responsibly in the thick of events and accepted the verdict in its true spirit. But the Waqf Board, further stoking the fire, is planning to appeal in the Supreme Court. To counter the move of self-proclaimed Muslim leaders of Waqf, all Muslims should form a public opinion saying they do not support the Board’s decision to continue this fight. Instead properties worth billions remain misused and mismanaged by Waqf Boards, which should be used for the uplift of the community, and refrain from wasting their energy on an appeal. Religion has always been an emotional issue but it is time we realised that we are Indian citizens first.

                In the Hindu view, the piece of land is sacred. It has been unanimously concurred by the three-judge bench that the sanctum-sanctorum is Lord Ram’s Janamsthan. It is therefore in the fitness of thing to discuss the past of Ram Janmabhoomi. The Babri ‘Masjid’ was built by Babur in 1527 on what was believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace. This was substantiated by The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which excavated the mosque site at the direction of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court in 2003. In August 2003, the ASI handed a 574-page report to the High Court. This report stated: “Among the structures listed in the report are several brick walls ‘in east-west orientation’, several ‘in north-south orientation’, ‘decorated coloured floor’, several ‘pillar bases’, and a ‘1.64-metre high decorated black stone pillar (broken) with yaksha [demigod] figurines on four corners’.” (Outlook India, June 23, 2003). It is worth mentioning that the items found below 20 feet should be at least 1,500 years old. For, according to archaeologists, about a foot of loam layer gathers on topsoil every hundred years. Primary clay was not found even up to a depth of 30 feet. It provides the clue to the existence of some structure or the other at that place during the last 2,500 years.

                However, the negationist version of Indian history means accepting the Islamic view of history—that the history of any place begins with its Muslim takeover; nothing that happened before is of any account. This is how Muslims view the history of all the conquered lands—from Egypt to Iran and even Pakistan. But they have been defeated in their purpose to impose this version of history on India. The struggle over Ayodhya is but a facet of this larger struggle. This is in the interests of all concerned—not just the Hindus. Communal harmony in India is an unattainable goal as long as one side keeps insisting on whitewashing its own record, while blaming the victims for all the problems. And the victims of such propaganda will never rest content until they feel their case has been justly treated. Here is where the ‘secularists’ have done immense harm to the cause of communal harmony in the name of ‘secularism’—whitewashing jihad negationism, while heaping abuse and blame on the victims.

                Furthermore, people should be wary of leaders who are bent on creating disturbances. The judiciary has played an important role as the watchdog of our Constitution. Its role in upholding the rule of law, human rights and democratic values has been significant. We must accept its verdict with an open mind. But justice cannot be done at the expense of communal harmony. This is exactly what the long-awaited Ayodhya verdict is all about. The court has paved the way for reconciliation. The electronic media should refrain from poking its nose in this issue and leave the nation in peace. It should not prod ‘experts’ and force them into saying something that is unnecessary and provocative. To sum up, Ayodhya represents a struggle by Indians to recover their true history from the grip of imperial surrogates—the Islamists and the secularists. These are the residue of defunct imperial movements. They are now partners in negation trying to preserve their privileges and positions as representatives of imperialisms past. Negationism has been their main tactic. But it is doomed to failure, as the verdict on Ayodhya has called their bluff.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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